Speaker's Age: 22
Story Told In: 2009
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On or around February 2nd, 2009, my long-time boyfriend and I became pregnant. Which was supposed to be impossible, by the way - I was on the pill; he was on HRT, and I was supposed to be infertile (thanks a lot, gyno).I found out on February 27th when I took my first pregnancy test and it came back positive almost immediately. This was not a huge shock because I'd been nauseous for a week and I could smell better than my dog.

My first reaction -- which breaks my heart as I write this -- was to smile. I was (and am) in love with the father. I had a good job. He was in the process of enlisting into the military. It would have been hard, sure, but anything in life worth having is worth working for, right?

We debated for two weeks about what the best course of action would be.

In the end, I made the decision for him. Not because he coerced me; not because he threatened me -- he would have supported any decision I made. But we are moving to Texas (from New England) when I would have been seven months along. I never could have found a job and I have no relatives down there who would be able to help me. I also felt forced by his mother. She raged at me, insisting that I lied about being on the pill, that I was trying to trap him, that I was being irresponsible, that I would prevent him and myself from living out our full lives, from doing what we need to do. She swore she'd never be involved in the baby's life.

That's all it took to wear me down. I'm ashamed of it because now that I can see clearly, now that I'm not panicking, I know we could have made it work no matter what. Maybe I would have had to go to Texas before him, or he would have had to be there long before me. But in the end, that was a very surmountable obstacle.

My mistake was that in the meantime, I got attached to my baby. I wanted, deep down, to keep it. So did the father. We played "evens or odds" the night before, and three times the result was "keep it," but I, shamefully, ignored that. I thought I was making the "logical" choice, even though it wasn't ever what I wanted.

The next morning, we drove two hours to the nearest Planned Parenthood. I cried the whole way, hand on my stomach, dreading what was about to happen. We drove up and this awful woman was standing there with a pink brochure and started shouting things at us immediately -- "Your baby is beautiful! God blessed you! You can't kill your baby!" -- does she think I haven't dreamed of how beautiful our baby would have been? Does she think I made this decision lightly? It's not the easy choice! She hounded me all the way in, two inches from my face, and by the time I got to the door I was crying (surprisingly; I should have run out of tears by then).

I was nauseous and the waiting room smelled bad and I was starving; by the time they called me in I hadn't eaten in 16 hours (which is BAD if you have morning sickness; not a good idea). I broke down when I talked to the counselor -- by the way, what a misnomer!! She never asked me if I wanted to talk about other options. She never said anything about the regret I'd feel. They gave me an ibuprofin and so the waiting game began.

Three hours later I was putting my feet in the stirrups and crying; I'm sure they get that a lot but the surgeon and nurse were so sweet. I was wearing a Celtics shirt and we talked about the Celtics until after the novacaine prevented me from talking --- and then the pain. Ohh, the pain. It was like my entire stomach was being ripped out. It was like contractions, and intense sharp pain, and this awful pulling feeling. It was indescribable, it was unbearable. I normally keep quiet; I don't like people to know I'm hurting. But I screamed at least twice that I remember; then I remember the ceiling swimming above my head and the violent nausea (I'm emetophobic) and the awful cramping and the tingling. And then, horribly, I remember looking at one of the machines dully, barely conscious -- and it happened. The nurse walked by with something that looked like a tupperware container with some big, purple-y reddish thing in it. I guess I couldn't deal with it right then because I barely registered it, but then the next night at dinner it all came back and I was sobbing out of nowhere.

It changed everything. The first few weeks were the hardest; I was violently angry, irreversably sad, mournful, numb, suspicious, everything you can think of. It's twice as hard because there's this stigma about it; I feel like I can't talk to anyone, so I have to deal with everything by myself and with my boyfriend. It's so hard. Even now I have trouble talking to people who don't know what happened. Too often, someone says in conversation, "Oh, I'd never have an abortion. I couldn't do that." And it's unbearable to hear that: it makes me so angry, and it makes me feel guilty, and it makes me sad.